This site is for Mnemosyne version 1.x.
For the latest version of Mnemosyne (2.x), visit the new site.
Getting started using Mnemosyne
First, if you haven't already, you may want to read about the principles behind Mnemosyne.
When you start the software for the first time, a tutorial will appear explaining how to grade the cards. Please carefully read the explanations-- grading cards properly is necessary for Mnemosyne to know what you are forgetting and what you remember.
If you ever want to see the tutorial again, choose Help -> Getting Started from the menu.
What can I study with Mnemosyne?
You can use Mnemosyne to study anything. In addition to unicode text (meaning all human languages are supported), you can add pictures and sounds to cards.
How do I add cards?
You can make your flash cards however you want. One point to keep in mind, though, is that it will probably be easier on you if you limit each flashcard to one "thing" you are trying to remember.
An exception to this is foreign language study, where you have a word to memorize and you want to learn both the meaning and the pronunciation-- Mnemosyne includes a special feature for this.
For more recommendations on how to make the cards, you can read 20 Rules of Formulating Knowledge from the SuperMemo website. SuperMemo is the commercial software that inspired Mnemosyne.
The software will present you with a question, and your task is trying to remember the answer. Afterwards, you rate yourself on a scale between 0 and 5. These ratings will be used in computing the optimal revision schedule. Let's see what these grades mean.
Grades 0 and 1 are used if you don't know the answer yet, or if you have forgotten it. A card with grade 1 is starting to get more familiar than one with grade 0, and will be repeated less often.
The software will keep on asking you these questions until you give them a grade 2 or higher (the exact grade doesn't matter). Grade 2 basically means that you think you'll be able to remember the card for at least one or two days. It signals the transition between short and long term memory.
So now you've memorised this new card. Mnemosyne will next try to make sure that you do not forget it anymore. It will schedule the next revision of this card to some future date, when it thinks you'll still be able to remember it with some effort, without having forgotten it completely. This is the most efficient for the learning process.
If in the future Mnemosyne asks you the question too soon, and you're able to remember it without any effort, you rate the card a 5. The program will take this into account by waiting a lot longer before asking you this question again. (If you know a card really well, you may need to consistently give it a 5 the first several times. As long as you keep giving the card a 4 or 5, Mnemosyne will keep increasing the interval-- there is no limit, and cards will gradually develop a year or more between repetitions).
If Mnemosyne gets it just right, so that you remember it, albeit with some effort, you use grade 4.
If on the other hand it takes you significant effort to remember the answer, and you think the software has waited too long to ask you this question, then rate the card 3.
If you fail to remember it altogether, rate it either 0 or 1, and Mnemosyne will keep on asking you this question until you think you'll be able to remember it again for a few days.
For best results, it is suggested to do your revisions every day, although Mnemosyne will try to cope as well as possible if you postpone your revisions or if you want to learn ahead of time.
Initial grades for cards
When first entering cards, you will have to assign a grade. If you don't know the card, give it a 0 or 1. If you do know the card, give higher grades, and the higher the grade, the longer the initial interval will be.
Reviewing the cards
When you start Mnemosyne, it will automatically present you with any cards that have been scheduled for review that day (plus any cards from previous days that you missed). To do your review, simply click on Show Answer (or press enter, return or space), add a grade, and you're on to the next card.
In the bottom right corner of the Mnemosyne window are some statistics, including the total number of repetitions scheduled for the current day. To see a 7-day schedule, choose Deck -> Show Statistics from the main menu, or press CTRL+T.
For the best performance of your memory and the Mnemosyne algorithm, you should do your entire scheduled review each day. If this is not possible, it's not a major worry-- Mnemosyne will automatically postpone the cards for you. However, if you frequently miss days, your recall will suffer.